Friday, July 2, 2010
Historical Commission approves Ferns signage, discusses memorial bench
Larry Bearfield of Ferns Country Store came before the Historical Commission on June 30 to seek approval to have a sidewalk sign in front of his establishment. The sandwich board, in use at Ferns for over five years on an intermittent basis, is an important part of advertising for the business, and also community events, he said. Bearfield described the sandwich board sign as yellow plastic, heavy weight, and situated on the grassy verge on the corner of Lowell Street and Bedford Road. The laminated messages are always in black and white lettering and no more than 22 inches wide and 24 inches to 36 inches high.
Bearfield requested permission to use the sandwich board on a regular basis saying, “We like to think it’s tasteful, and it has a definite effect on business in a positive way.” He also stated that 60% to 80% of the messages on the sign are of a community nature, such as advertising the Honor Roll on the Town Common.
Commission Chair Marc Lamere said, “I don’t have too many questions, because we’ve gone through this before. The programs that you advertise are for things that go on at your store?” Bearfield replied, “The programs on the piazza, I consider community events. It’s a great way to have people come together and have some fun.” Nathan Brown, new member to the Historical Commission as of July 1, added, “The signs are directed to the town. I think it gives a sense of community.”
Sylvia Sillers moved that the Historical Commission approve the application as written, noting that the signage is double sided with the same message displayed on each side; the sign will be located as stated in the site plan (on the grassy verge of Lowell and Bedford); and lettering and coloring to be consistent as stated in the application. The vote passed with four in favor, and one abstention.
After the vote, the commission asked Bearfield to consider a more permanent-looking sign for the future. A wooden sign was suggested, and Commission member Peggy Hilton added that the Gleason Library Trustees are also considering erecting a permanent sign for its property.
Balloons and flags
It was noted that an increasing number of Town Hall-approved temporary signs on the rotary and Town Common have had balloons and flags attached to them. As consistent with its position on signage in the Town Center, the commission wants to discourage moving appendages to signs. Lamere will speak to Town Hall about this.
In other business, the Selectman forwarded a request by the daughter of Cecelia and James Barron to the Historical Commission to suggest a location for a placement of a bench in memory of the former residents. The Barrons’ daughter would like the bench to be placed on either the library grounds or the Town Common.
The Commission concluded that it would set a dangerous precedent in the town to accept these kinds of monuments. Chairman Lamere will send an email to the Selectmen suggesting that this precedent should not be established, but if the Selecmen would like to proceed with accepting this gift, then they should come to a Historical Commission meeting to discuss it.
Historical resources survey
The hard copies of the town’s historical resources survey have been made, but have not yet been distributed to the library or put in a permanent place at Town Hall. The information is also stored on two CDs, one which contains the forms and maps, and the second which contains more maps and aerials. They will be put on the town website in the future, date currently unknown.
This was the last meeting of Lamere, who is leaving the commission. Sylvia Sillers was voted the new chair. Nathan Brown and Neal Emmers will start their official terms as commission members in July, but attended this meeting. ∆
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